Waterford, CT — Nothing can be more appropriate than the Northeastern Midget Association on Waterford Speedbowl’s “Nostalgia Weekend” agenda. The NEMA-Speedbowl relationship dates back to 1953, the club’s initial campaign.
The Speedbowl’s Midget connection goes back to its first year, 1951. The win list at the ‘Bowl starts with the legendary Johnny Thomson.
A 25-lap NEMA feature will share Saturday’s bill with the Speedbowl’s SK-Modifieds, Late Models, Sportsman and Mini Stocks.
The weekend also features the Atlantic Coast Old Timers (ACOT), NEAR (New England Antique Racers) and Senior Tour Antique Racers (STARS) who get together for a “still show” on Saturday night.
History takes over on Sunday when the antique racecars, including several vintage midgets, take to the track for three hours (noon-to-3 pm).
Present NEMA point leader Randy Cabral can make some history. He’ll be looking for his fourth straight and seventh overall Speedbowl victory. He is currently tied atop the win list with Drew Fornoro. Only two other NEMA drivers have won three straight at Waterford – Dick Brown in 1961-62 and Joe Csiki in 1962-63.
Cabral dominated both NEMA Speedbowl races this year but he is the first to agree making predictions is foolhardy. There are few secrets left (it will be NEMA’s 78th Speedowl feature) and as Russ Stoehr pointed out several years ago “everybody seems to run their best at Waterford.”
Being a winner at Waterford now demands 12 seconds laps. A number of NEMA competitors see it as the best Midget oval on the schedule.
Current competitors who have won at the Speedowl include Nokie Fornoro (4), Bobby Santos III (4), Joey Payne Jr. (3), Lou Cicconi Jr., Jeff Horn, Mark Keller and Barry Kittridge. Fornoro’s first wins came in 1981 and there was 22 years between three and four. Santos’ first-ever NEMA win came at the Speedbowl. Keller, now in the Seamon #63, will be returning to the spot of his only NEMA checkered.
Cabral’s current owner Tim Bertrand is also on the win list. Cabral has also won in his dad;s (Glen) #35 and in the Seymour #29. Bobby and Mike Seymour claim eight including five with Bobby at the wheel.
Gene Angelillo is the most successful owner with 10 wins. The wins have come with Drew Fornoro, Russ Stoehr and Payne. The Angelillo-Drew Fornoro combination actually started at the Speedbowl.
Sources: Pete Zanardi/Waterford Speedbowl PR